Latest on gas to diesel swap
Gas to Diesel update
The van is DONE! Yes guilty as charged, my posts and photos were far too infrequent, at best. So now let’s recap this amazing project.
Our original plan was to use the “donor” 2005 truck to complete the diesel swap. But, we learned that due to the vast differences in so many of the small parts, it made more sense to acquire a diesel work van. We found one for 500$ in pieces on Craigslist. As time went on, we ended up using almost all of the diesel van, specific parts from this vehicle. Everything from body harness, to oil feed lines. This saved countless hours and dollars in parts and labor.
The 6.0 Diesel engine was completed and fully Bullet Proofed in house at DMD. After the engine was installed, we began the lengthy transformation from gas to diesel. Most of the effort involved focused on inspecting and replacing or transferring parts from our “donor” van. The entire firewall was prepped with “sound deadening” material. The engine was installed and the Bullet Proof Diesel remote oil cooler system was installed.
The following few weeks were dedicated to completing the factory Ford, diesel van reassembly. The ATS transmission was installed. The factory fuel tank was removed and shortened to clear the transfer case. The fuel pump and lines were all replaced with a FASS lift pump assembly.
At this point in the process, we pivoted into the 4x4 conversion. We ended up using front and rear axles from a 2005 F250. The four link conversion kit for the front axle was acquired from Timberline Vans in Colorado. This kit was awesome! It is a very complete and thorough kit. The installation is quite involved but straightforward, thanks to very detailed instructions. All components were welded up here, in house. Then the front end was completed, including new front brakes and steering components.
The Timberline kit can be run with the stock rear axle by using the supplied wheel spacers. Given the nature of this project, we felt it must have the F250 rear axle, to match the front. The rear axle was completely overhauled and a True Trac carrier was installed. The rear axle spring pads and rear shock mounts had to be cut off and relocated be for axle installation.
Next, came time for the transfer case installation. The Atlas transfer case was on back order so we pivoted to the factory Ford manual shift transfer case, which was obtained locally. It will be replaced with an Atlas transfercase after ski season.
With the running gear installation was complete, the next few months were spent dealing with the small “punch list” of items :
Rear drive shaft was custom built
Front driveshaft is a stock 2005 F250 front drive shaft
The transfer case shift linkage is part of the Timberline kit which was installed.
Parking brake cables were replaced with 2005 F250 cables with custom main cable.
All wiring was completed.
Both battery trays were installed.
Front and rear bumpers were upgraded to Aluminess products. The Aluminess running boards were also installed.
Lastly, the van was outfitted with new tires and wheels. With the following specs (35x12.5x17 BFG K02’s tires & Method 17x9” wheels.) The alignment was then performed in house, along with a complete safety inspection. All programming was brought to the current Ford van specs.
After the initial break in of the new engine assembly, all fluids were checked and the van was road tested. Our initial reaction was very positive. Any time you get a project of this magnitude, getting it back on the road isn’t always that easy. In this case, things went well. With that being said, the ride quality is remarkable, the steering feel is easy. The van is very user friendly.
With a few last details like mirrors, stereo, and the security system handled. We finally started to accrue mileage, which has gone well. I think the best feedback I can give about this van, is I would not hesitate to use any of these products again! In my opinion, it is the best riding van that we have been a part of! Especially, with the long term reliability of a fully BULLETPROOF 6.0, the durability of 3/4 running gear and the ultra “road trip capable” platform this van is a 10!